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The University of North Carolina news letter. online resource (None) 1914-1944, September 26, 1923, Image 1

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The news in this publi cation is released for the press on receipt. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA NEWS LETTER Published Weekly by the University of North Caro lina Press for the Univer sity Extension Division. SEPTEMBER 26,1923 CHAPEL HILL, N. C. VOL. DC, NO. 45 Editorial EL C. Branson, S. H. Hobbs. Jr., L. R. Wilson, E. W. Knight, D. D. Carroll, J. B. Bullitt, H. W. Odum. Entered aa second-class matter November 14,1914, at the Postoffice at Chapel Hill, N. C., under the act of August 24, 191i XIl—A LAND OF LITTLE COUNTRY FACTORIES While exploring the country-end of things in Germany during the last three months, it has been impossible not to see the industries operating under coun try conditions, their amazing number and variety, their manifest prosperity, and their marvelous expansion in very recent years. My letters have con tained frequent fragmentary referen ces to the country factory life I see on every hand and I am now devoting a special letter to the farm village indus tries and the larger factory plants lo cated in country regions quite aside and apart from the great cities and in dustrial areas of North Germany and the Rhineland. I know, to be sure, of the huge fac tory plants and syndicates, everybody knows of these, but what most people of other lands know little about is the fact that Germany turns out cheaply produced high-grade specialties, novel ties and notions in endless variety and vast volume, and that the cheap pro duction of such goods is made possible by the village life of German farmers. The country village is a fixed fact of the German social order, and it is a fundamental fact that the farmers and business people of every nation may well consider. The village life of home-owning farmers is of course re lated to a prosperous and enduring country civilization, but it is no less certainly related to manufacture, trade, and banking. Germany, distracted as she is, is aware of this fact today bet ter than ever before in her history, and she also knows that her power to compete with the gross production of big-scale industries in other countries today and in future years is largely based on this distinctive feature of her country civilization. The country industries of Germany fall into three classes: (1) domestic in dustries, (2) small factories organized on a semi-domestic basis, and (3) full- fledged factory plants located in coun try regions or operating under country conditions in city suburbs. Domestic Industries 1. I speak first of the domestic in dustries, based on the family as the producing unit, with a hired assistant or two, working in a space behind the shop or in a second-story room along side the living quarters of the family. They are manufactories in the original meaning of the word, that is they turn out hand-made goods with a minimum of labor-saving devices. They are sur vivals of a primitive industrial order. Little trace of them is left in western civilization, but in Germany they still exist in the farm villages and are like ly to be a detail of her country-town life as long as Germany endures. Hand-Made Waterproof Shoes To illustrate. The other day I found my shoes in need of resoling. I was directed into what looked like a shoe store. It was a shoe store, but also it was to my great surprise a shoe fac tory, filled with hand-made shoes fash ioned on the spot by the family and a half-dozen assistants, with almost no shoe machinery. And very attractive shoes they were, not quite up to the mark of American foot wear, but what they lack in style and finish they make up in lasting qualities and comfort. The proprietor is a shoe-mender, a shoe-mak er, a shoe-seller, and what is more seller of cheap shoes that defy wear and weather. If it were not so, he would be forced out of business alto gether, for rubber overshoes are al most unknown in Germany. I could not find a single pair in any store in all Augsburg on a soggy day last week, And really no native needed such shoes, for the hand-made shoes are practically water-proof. There are shoe factories everywhere and their number increases daily, but most German shoes are hand made in little shops like this, and are likely to be so made for long years to come. The shoe-maker in his little shop disappeared in America many years ago. He is now merely a shoe- mender, who mends shoes with electric al machinery which he does not own and for the use of which he must pay to a great organization a royalty that consumes a very large part of his profits. Country Butchery Artistic And what I have said of shoe makers and shoes is true of butchers and meat products. Every German village has its butcher and he is apt to be a skilled artisan who not only slaughters all the farm animals, but trims, cures, and packages all the meat products of his little territory—the hams, shoulders and sides, the head cheese and souse, and the sausages that appear in be wildering variety on the farm tables and in the city shop windows. In Amer ica this business has been taken over by the big packers who supply a good deal more than half of all the meat prod ucts we consume. The metzger in Germany is still an artist not merely a butcher, and his grip on his business is so firm that huge packing plants are never likely to drive him to cover. Packing plants exist and they steadily increase in number, but they are rela tively small, and almost invariably they are located in country towns not in the great cities. Home-Made Confections The other day in Snaith, a little farm village a mile or so off the railroad, I was hunting up the birthplace of Sil- cher, the great writer of German folk songs, when I chanced upon another commercialized product domestically produced—a pastry confection that looks like Spanish peanuts and melts in the mouth like cream chocolates. It is as dainty as any product of the Ameri can Biscuit Company, and just as at tractively packaged, but it is a family product that goes out to the trade from the back rooms of a country-village dwelling. The famous Christmas cakes of Nuremberg had a similar origin and they are largely produced in domestic kitchens for general distribution till this good day. The same thing is true of bake-shop products of every sort. Great cake and candy concerns opera ting on a factory basis would not have a ghost of a chance in Germany. Home Industries Galore Another illustration. My battered hand-bags were mended the other day in a little country factory-town shop in which most of the leather goods of fered for sale are made behind the store by the jiroprietor, his family, and an additional leather worker or two- trunks, suit cases, document cases, hand bags, traveling kits, pocket books, toilet articles and the like. The dis play of wares was most attractive. Just around the corner was the barber shop for men and women, and as usual it was something more than a shaving, hair-cutting, shampooing establish ment: it was a place where braids, wigs, and such like articles are made by the wife and children. There is literally no end to the little family in dustries of farm village life in Ger many. Semi-Domestic Industry 2. I Speak next of the semi-domes tic small factory of the country villages and village suburbs—the factory with a dozen or a score of workmen housed in a special building, with the owner and his family living in the factory yard or next to it or nearby, and preserving in some degree the intimate contacts and fellowships of a family circle. Facto ries of this type are too numerous to mention in detail. They have passed out of existence in the United States in general, and are fast disappearing in North Carolina. The Holts and Can nons began cotton milling in this fash ion, but it is a vanishing fashion. Two or three factories close at hand illustrate what I mean. One is a fac tory in which eighteen workmen are turning out gold, silver, and German silver thimbles that go into every coun try of the world. I passed it many times before I found out that it was a factory and not a farm dwelling. An other is a factory about as large as my home in Chapel Hill, but it hous es twenty skilled artists and artisans busy designing and making gold and silver plate, jewelry, and toilet arti cles. The owner’s dwelling is connect ed with the factory by a corridor. In COOPERATION Today business organization is moving strongly toward co-opera tion. There are in the co-operative great hopes that we can even gain in individuality, equality of oppor tunity, and an enlarged field for in itiative, and at the same time re duce many of the great wastes of over-reckless competition in produc tion and distribution. Those who fear that co-operation is an advance toward socialism need neither re joice nor worry. Co-operation in its current economic sense represents the initiative of self-interest blended with a sense of service, for nobody belongs to a co-operative who is not striving to sell his products or ser vices for more or striving to buy from others for less, or striving to make his income more secure. Their members are furnishing the capital for extens'ion of their activities just as effectively as if they did it in cor porate form and they are simply transferring the profit principle from joint return to individual return. Their only success lies where they eliminate waste either in production or distribution—and they can do neither if they destroy individual in itiative. Indeed this phase of devel opment of our individualism prom ises to become the dominant note of its twentieth century expansion. But it will thrive only in so far as it can construct leadership and a sense of service, and so long as it preserves the initiative and safe guards the individuality of its mem bers.—Herbert Hoover. were home owners settled in compact farm communities as they are in the main in Germany, I should be less dis turbed than I am at present about the future of both our farm and our fac tory civilizations. I do not believe any civilization, in town or country, can be safely based on the landless estate of men. And just as strongly I do believe in cooperative community life and en terprise. - Modern life in big cities everywhere looks to me very like a lot of crabs in the bottom of a bucket, every crab crawling over every other crab trying to get on top. It is a sorry spectacle, and it is pagan to the core, no matter how we label it, whether Christian or not.—E. C. Branson, Ber lin,. July 3, 1923. ACTIVE SPINDLES The textile mills of North Carolina are about the most active in the United States. That our mills are in healthy condition is shown by the July report of the Department of Commerce. Al though Massachusetts has more than twice as many cotton spindles as we, the active spindle hours in this state in July were 89 percent of the total active spindle hours of Massachusetts. The average spindle in our state ran 267 hours, while in the leading textile state, at present, the average spindle ran only 138 hours. The average in South Carolina was 268 hours. Almost the same conditions exist when the South and North are com pared. The average southern spindle ran 254 hours during July, while the average for the North was 141 hours. The South is the natural home of the textile industry, and North Carolina possesses more and better advantages than any other southern state. It is the confession of northern mill men themselves. ing to the use to which they are to be put. A Developing Industry The most important product is wood turpentine, of which about fifteen gal lons are obtained from each cord of wood. Besides the turpentine a cord of wood will yield about six gallons of oil, the same amount of a substance called pyroligneous acid, rosin, and charcoal. The oil yields products which can be used for flotation in mining op erations, as a solvent in wood and met al paints, for wood preservation, in the manufacture of reclaimed rubber prod ucts, for insecticides and as a drug. Oil of Pine Tar. The pyroligneous acid or liquid smoke, the least valuable of the products, is useful as liquid smoke, in dyeing and in the manufacture of synthetic vinegar and various other chemicals. The industry is still in its i infancy. Each year the chemists are finding many new uses for the products and the chemical engineers are perfect ing new and better methods of produc tion. With the large lumber industry in the state there is an enormous a- mount of waste- wood, to say nothing of the stumps lost, which should be utilized by the wood distiller. One au thority has recently stated that if Ger many had the pine stumps of the South she could ' distill them into products whose value would pay the war debt imp{*sed upon her by the Allies. The pine stumps of North Carolina have untold wealth in them.—Division of Industrial Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of North Caro lina. another factory which adjoins its own er’s dwelling the thirty-odd workmen are making the mechanism that rotates the disk in gramophones. All these little farm village factories have made their proprietors rich within the last five years, and now they are all fever ishly at work enlarging their plants or building brand new factories. So far their riches are mostly in paper marks, but they are turning these marks into substantial properties just as fast as ever they can. Which is what the lit tle factory owners are doing every where, and it largely explains the building activities I see on every hand. Larger-Scale Production 3. A more spectacular phase of country manufacture is the full-fledged factory plant in the farm villages or on the outskirts or out in the open country on railway lines that tap the abundant farm labor supply. The Neckar valley from the Swabian Alps to the Rhine is an unbroken string of industrial centers and plants operated by the farm labor of contiguous areas. The same thing is true of the upper reaches of the Danube from the Black Forest east ward, also of the Main, the Saal, and every other stream that flows out of the Hartz mountains and the Thurin-; gian hills in Central and Eastern Ger many. Nevertheless these areas re main dominantly rural and agricultural. They are made and kept so by the well-nigh universal ownership of homes and farms by the factory workers. The old men, the women, and the children keep the farms perfectly cultivated, aided by the husbands aud the older boys and girls before and after factory hours. These regions look to me to be just as perfectly cultivated and just as beautiful today as they did fifteen years ago. It is a situation that puts the social incendiary at a clear disad vantage. His nose is out of joint in these areas. The industrial activity, pros perity, and expansion of the last few years are clearly manifest, and entirely beyond doubt or debate. How It Differs in N. C. Manufacture under country condi tions is nothing new in Germany. Sid ney Whitman called attention to it twenty-five years ago. It is a distinc tive feature of industrial Germany as it is of North Carolina. If only our farm and factory workers OUR CHEMICAL INDUSTRY Pine Products Industry Everyone familiar with the Old North State knows the part the long-leaf pine has played in its literature and tradi tions. Yet few realize that it also furnished the resources for two of the state’s many industries, namely, the lumber and pine products industries. Long-leaf pine and oak lumber from this state are daily being shipped to the North. In addition to the pine lumber industry, we have an important naval stores industry in turpentine and rosin production. Besides going to all parts of the United States, shipments of rosin and turpentine are being maie to many foreign countries, including India and Australia. In this state there are eight small firms engaged in some phase of the pipe by-products business. They rep resent an invested capital of but $38,- 650 and an annual output of $107,170. Most of the plants are located in the southeastern part of the state, Bruns wick and New Hanover counties being the center of the industry. The indus try is concerned primarily with the pro duction of turpentine and rosin, but some of the companies are now pro ducing many other products. Only 62 men were employed in this industry in 1920. Old Methods and New .The old method for collecting the raw material for turpentine production con sisted in boxing or wounding the tree in such a way that it gave off a gum which was collected and distilled. This was a very wasteful process, for it not only sapped the vitality of the tree but also destroyed its usefulness for mill ing purposes, sometimes killing^ the trees. This method has given way somewhat to the more economical and productive process of destructive diS' tillation of the pine wood wastes. In this method the wood distiller uses the stumps, knots and other refuse from t^e lumber mills, the greatest cost be ing for labor necessary for harvesting the wood and hauling it to the stills. The process consists of the destructive distillation of the wood in the absence of air. The heating is carried on in large steel retorts set in masonry over a' fire-box. After being filled with wood the retorts are sealed, the fires started, and in a few hours the distil lation begins. The vapors passing off are condensed, and the distillate is re distilled into various products acebrd- ASSEMBLING RECORDS The University Library is interested in completing back files of North Carolina periodicals, documents, reports, pro ceedings ofsocieties, etc., for the North Carolina Collection. Some of the peri odicals to be completed are listed be low. The Librarian will be glad to hear of available issues of the follow ing periodicals. Periodicals Academy and Alumnae Record of Salem College. Any issue. Arator. Issues of 1866-1857. At Home and Abroad. Biblical Recorder. Blum’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Al manac. Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory. Carolina Cultivator. Carolina Farmer. Charlotte Medical Journal. t Everywoman’s Magazine. Farmer’s Advocate. Key-Stone. Literary World. Lyceum. N. C. Agricultural Almanac. N, C. College for Women Alumnae Nfews. N. C. Common School Journal. N. C.,Educational Journal. N. C. .lournal of Education. Issues of 1862, 1863, 1864. N. C. Law Journal. Vol. 2, No. 12, April 1902. N. C. Medical Journal. Issues of 1858, 1869, 1908. N. C. Planter. N. C. Telegraph. N. C. White Ribbon. Orphan’s Friend and Masonic Jour nal. Progressive Farmer. -Racket. Reconstructed Farmer. Solicitor. South-Atlantic. Published in Wil mington. Issues of 1877-8, 1879, 1880, 1881. Southern Educator. Southern Furniture Journal. Southern Good Roads. Issues since 1917; Southern Pictures and Pencillings. Southern Public Utilities Magazine, Southern Review. Southern Textile Bulletin. Southern Tobacco Journal. Stedman’s Magazine. Tarheel Banker. Turner's N. C. Almanac. Issues for 1868. Yackety-Yack. Issue for 1918.

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